FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 8, 2005
TDD (202) 514-1888
STATEMENT OF JUSTICE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN ERIC HOLLAND
ON THE CLOSING OF THE TOBBACO LITIGATION:
“The Justice Department has taken the necessary steps over the last nine months to curb decades of fraudulent behavior by the tobacco defendants. The current civil RICO case is intended to protect the American public from misrepresentations and abuses that continue to this day.
“The United States vigorously argued for a $280 billion disgorgement remedy based upon the decades of fraudulent behavior. This spring, the Circuit Court ruled in favor of the tobacco industry, reversing a prior decision of the trial court on remedies, and held that any remedies in the case must be ‘forward looking’ to prevent and restrain future wrongful acts, rather than to address even lingering consequences of past wrongful acts. The government is bound by this decision, and the suggested cessation program therefore comports with the recent decision of the Circuit Court of Appeals.
“The government’s suggested cessation program is only an initial requirement, based upon the compelling evidence that the defendants will continue to commit fraudulent acts in the future. If it is found by court-appointed monitors that the defendants continue to commit acts of fraud, the court can extend and expand the cessation program to exceed the $10 billion/5 year program proposed yesterday, in order to prevent and restrain the continuation of fraudulent activities by the tobacco companies.”